It looks like my Cult of Mac colleague Killian’s endless hours spent feverishly Googling the word “Fortnite” like a battle royale-loving version of The Shining‘s Jack Torrance have paid off.
That’s because Google has released its annual “Year in Search” results, and it seems that the ultra popular Fortnite game is one of the year’s most sought-after topics.
Fortnite ranked top in two categories in U.S. searches: gaming and GIFS. Its position in gaming actually puts it above the insanely successful Red Dead Redemption 2, which broke all kinds of records upon its launch.
However, Fortnite has racked up some staggering monetary gains in its own right. In its first month on mobile alone, Fortnite took in more than $25 million, which increased to $50 million by day 45. By the middle of the year, it had raked in $100 million on iOS alone — and a mind-blowing $1 billion in in-app purchases across all its platforms.
Interestingly, while Google features just about every other category going, it doesn’t include one about technology companies or smartphones. Other than the multi-platform presence of Fortnite, made by Epic Games, there’s no other mention closely associated with Apple or any of its products.
That’s in stark contrast to last year where Apple’s iPhone X and iPhone 8 were two of the top three most popular search terms of 2017. Whether that drop off has anything to do with the way Google carries out its ranking process (which shouldn’t be the case, given that it’s presumably just adding up localized search results) isn’t clear.
Other top searches for 2018 included (unsurprisingly) the World Cup, notable deaths like Stephen Hawking, Mac Miller, Avicii and Stan Lee, the Black Panther movie, and Meghan Markle, who became the Duchess of Sussex.
Google doesn’t tell the whole story
As I noted in a recent article, Google trends are interesting to analyze, although they don’t necessarily tell the full story. Interest in the iPhone, for instance, peaked on Google in 2012 and has declined since then, but iPhone figures today dwarf those in 2012. Still, it’s interesting as a time capsule snapshot of the year and what was on people’s minds.
And it’s hard to deny that Fortnite has played a major role in 2018 as far as pop culture is concerned.